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Plato, Mo. Celebrates Recognition as the 2010 Census U.S. Center of Population

In the photo are (left to right) Dr. Robert Groves, Juliana Blackell & Bob Biram  - Village Chairman.

Townspeople, elected representatives, government officials and hundreds of students today celebrated the naming of Plato, Mo., as the 2010 Census U.S. center of population. Amid music, speeches, banners and cheers, village chairman Bob Biram welcomed the crowd, saying, “We’re proud of our village. As one of our students said, ‘we were in the middle of nowhere; now we are in the middle of everywhere.’"

At the event, U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves and Juliana Blackwell, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Geodetic Survey, revealed a survey disc, commemorating the national center of population as calculated by the Census Bureau and measured by the National Geodetic Survey.

Each decade after tabulating the decennial census, the Census Bureau calculates the mean center of population for the country, as well as for each state and county. The national center of population is determined as the place where an imaginary, flat, weightless and rigid map of the United States would balance perfectly if all 308,745,538 residents counted in the 2010 Census were of identical weight.  Press release

NIST’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership Delivers Results

Program Helps Create and Retain Jobs, Generating $32 in Sales for Every $1 Spent

Today’s release of the latest employment statistics from the Department of Labor—244,000 jobs added in April—makes you wonder, where did these jobs come from? While we know most jobs are created by the private sector, government agencies often do have a role in fostering this job creation.  The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program at the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology has done just that. 

As a public-private partnership, MEP delivers a high return on its investments to American taxpayers. In 2009, MEP helped businesses create or retain 72,075 jobs, and for every one dollar of federal investment, generated $32 in new sales growth (PDF). This return on investment translates to $3.6 billion in new sales annually among MEP clients. And for every $1,570 in federal investment, MEP creates or retains one manufacturing job. Such impressive results come from a survey of MEP clients by private marketing firm Turner Marketing, Inc.

How did MEP achieve such a large return on its investments?  First, a little history.  Congress established MEP in 1988 to help small- and mid-sized manufacturers increase growth, cut costs, and create innovative new products and services.  NIST, the federal partner in MEP, works with local and regional manufacturing experts across the United States to build a nationwide network of resources for America’s manufacturers.  Several dozen NIST staff leverage over 1,400 technical experts across the nation in every state, focused on solving manufacturers’ biggest challenges and identifying opportunities for growth.

Secretary Locke Highlights the Importance of IP at World Intellectual Property Day Celebration

Secretary Locke joined U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith on the Hill this week to celebrate the 11th anniversary of World Intellectual Property Day.

In his remarks, Locke highlighted the importance of intellectual property protection and enforcement to the U.S. economy and his work with Kappos to help bring the U.S. patent office into the 21st century. He also commended Smith andSenate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy on their strong leadership for patent reform legislation currently being considered by Congress.

"Patent reform is critical to the well-being of our patent system and the effectiveness of the USPTO, which are so vital to American companies and oureconomic well-being,” Locke said. “This bipartisan legislation won't cost taxpayers a single dime, and it will ensure USPTO has the ability to tackle its backlog and better serve the needs of America’s innovators."

Around the world, enforcement of intellectual property rights helps prevent counterfeiting and piracy, which cost the United States billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year. The Commerce Department actively engages foreign leaders and promotes stronger enforcement disciplines worldwide in its efforts to reduce losses associated with IP infringement.

Established by WIPO Member States in 2000, World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated annually on April 26th to increase the understanding and respect of IP and underscore its importance in promoting creativity and innovation. Remarks

U.S. Census Bureau Released Most Detailed Data Yet from 2010 Census

Image of interactive map

The Department of Commerce's U.S. Census Bureau has begun releasing the most detailed data yet from the 2010 Census, including information on age and sex distributions, race, ethnicity, housing and relationships. This Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 was released this week for the first set of states and will continue to be released throughout the month of May for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

Demographic profiles are now available for the District of Columbia, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. The release includes more than 150 data items in all in addition to percentage distributions.

The Census Bureau has also created an interactive map so you can explore the data down to the city level. By clicking the tabs at the top of the map, you can find demographic data for your location and make population comparisons between communities across the country. To learn your state’s median age, average household size, and percentage of renters versus homeowners, read the Census Bureau’s press release.

Secretary Locke Addresses Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the United States and the Current State of U.S.-China Commercial Relations

Secretary Locke Addresses the Asia Society at the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States

This morning, Secretary Locke addressed the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China. The groups today released a new study that shows Chinese foreign direct investment in America doubling in each of the last two years. Chinese investors now have investments in at least 35 of our 50 states, across dozens of industries, employing thousands of Americans. Locke welcomed this news, but also noted progress the U.S. needs to see from Beijing to improve the business environment for American companies trying to invest or expand into China.

He said, “When it comes to market access problems for foreign companies, the issues may be different, but the fundamental problem often boils down to the distance between the promises of China’s government and action.”

U.S. Aerospace Supplier and Investment Mission to Canada Generates $1.34 Billion in Commercial Deals

Image of NOAA plane

Guest blog post by Suresh Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Promotion and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service

When people think of Canada they often think of hockey, moose, and cold weather, not aircraft.  In fact, Canada's aerospace industry is the fifth largest in the world ($22.2 billion in revenues in 2009) and the United States is Canada's largest supplier of aircraft parts and components.  Bombardier Aerospace, a Canadian manufacturer of commercial aircraft and business jets, has grown to be one of the top four aircraft manufacturers in the world, behind Boeing, Airbus, and Brazil’s Embraer.  Canada’s geographic proximity, open market economy and stable business climate make it an attractive market for U.S. aerospace companies.

To help U.S. companies take advantage of these export opportunities, I’m in Canada leading 21 companies on a three-day U.S. Aerospace Supplier and Investment Mission.  On the mission, we announced commercial signings worth $1.34 billion in U.S. contracts with Canadian aerospace firms, a figure representing over $800 million in U.S. export content.  

These newly signed commercial deals are a crucial part of our effort to strengthen the economy and will make an important contribution to manufacturing and job growth across the United States.

Secretary Locke to Deliver Speech on Chinese Foreign Direct Investment in the U.S. and U.S.-China Commercial Relations (webcast)

Ahead of the third U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 9-10, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke will deliver a speech at 10:30 Eastern today on Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States and the current state of U.S.-China commercial relations.   

The Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States will release a comprehensive report by the Rhodium Group on Chinese FDI at today’s event – “An American Open Door? Maximizing the Benefits of Chinese Direct Investment.” Others expected to attend include Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Zhang Yesui, former U.S. Ambassador to China Stapleton Roy and Director of the Asia Society Center on U.S.-China Relations Orville Schell.  

The Wilson Center is hosting a webcast of the event between 9:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

According to the Commerce Department's Census Bureau, the Number of Asian-Owned Businesses Increased at More Than Twice the National Rate

In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau has released highlights of the latest data on our nation's Asian, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander populations from the 2010 Census and 2007 Survey of Business Owners.

Some of the latest statistics show:

  • There are 17.3 million U.S. residents of Asian descent, according to the 2010 Census, making up 5.6 percent of the total population.
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders make up 0.4 percent of the population, totaling 1.2 million people, according to the 2010 Census.
  • Between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses, the Asian alone or in combination population grew 46 % – more than any other major race group.
  • The Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone or in combination population grew by 40 % between the 2000 and 2010 Censuses.
  • Fifty percent of single-race Asians 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education in 2009, compared with 28 percent for all Americans 25 and older.
  • Fourteen percent of single-race Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders 25 and older had at least a bachelor’s degree in 2009.
  • U.S. businesses owned by people of Asian origin increased 40.4 percent to 1.5 million between 2002 and 2007, increasing at more than twice the national rate.  
  • Native Hawaiian- and Other Pacific Islander-owned businesses grew by 30.6 percent from 2002 to 2007, totaling 37,809 businesses.

Find out more about the Asian and Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander communities in the United States with Census's Facts for Features Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month. For business information specific to these communities, visit Census's Press Release on Asian-Owned Businesses.


Secretary Locke and Congressional Delegation Conclude Productive South Korea Meetings

Secretary Locke, Reps Crowley and Reichert Overlook North Korea from the DMZ

Today Secretary Gary Locke and the congressional delegation concluded their three-day trip to Seoul with a visit to the Demilitarized Zone – the border between South and North Korea – and a lunch with U.S troops and their families at Yongsan Garrison to thank them for their service. The group also met with leaders of South Korea’s Democratic Party and Grand National Party at Korea’s National Assembly to discuss the U.S.-South Korea Trade Agreement (KORUS).

“Over the last few days we have had the opportunity to see first-hand the benefits that KORUS will bring to the economies of both the U.S. and Korea,” Locke said. “There is great demand for U.S. products -- from made-in-America cell phone components to life-saving medical equipment. This agreement will increase mutually beneficial trade, strengthen our economies and create jobs in both of our countries.”

Locke also visited Seoul National University Hospital for a demonstration of Varian Medical Systems’ (Palo Alto, Calif.) advanced radiotherapy technology.  Varian is the world leader in this life-saving, cancer treatment technology with approximately $34 million worth of annual sales to South Korea.  Their equipment is manufactured in California and Utah and exported globally. Under the U.S.-South Korea trade agreement, the tariff on Varian’s products would be eliminated, making the company more competitive in the Korean market. 

Varian Medical Systems Could Save More Lives and Compete More Efficiently Under U.S.-Korea Trade Agreement

Secretary Locke, Reps. McDermott and Reichert Listen to an Explanation of How the Varian Linear Accelerator Works

Guest blog post by Timothy E. Guertin, President and CEO of Varian Medical Systems of Palo Alto, CA.

Editor’s Note:  Varian Medical Systems focuses energy on saving lives. By partnering with customers and others, the people of Varian develop leading solutions for improving cancer treatment, X-ray imaging, and security.

Varian Medical Systems is honored that Secretary Locke and an esteemed Congressional delegation devoted time to seeing our systems treating cancer patients at Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH), while on a trade mission to the Republic of Korea.  SNUH, a longtime partner of Varian, provides some of the most leading edge cancer treatments available to those stricken with this terrible disease.  The Varian linear accelerators that perform radiotherapy treatments at SNUH were manufactured in California and then installed and serviced by a team of technicians in Seoul, providing jobs on both sides of the Pacific.

While visiting the radiation oncology department at SNUH, Secretary Locke was able to see firsthand the easy and painless process a cancer patient goes through when being treated with radiotherapy.  Radiotherapy is a non-invasive technique that targets tumors with high-energy photon beams that stop cancer cells from reproducing.   Treatments on Varian linear accelerators are tailored for each patient, focusing on breast, prostate, brain, lung and other types of cancers.    In the next several months, SNUH will be acquiring the new Varian TrueBeam system that will enable clinicians in Seoul to treat more complex cases, while at the same time reducing treatment times for patients.